Monday, October 4, 2010

It Came From the Back Issue Bin! #12: Halloween with the Undead

Dracula - The Company of Monsters #1-2
Boom! Studios
Created and story by: Kurt Busiek
Written by: Daryl Gregory
Art by: Scott Godlewski

Dracula – The Company of Monsters is s a new ongoing horror series with a modern day spin on the vampire myth with a large corporation intent on owning the Lord of Vampires. At first glace, it’s Kurt Busiek’s involvement that caught my attention. I’m a huge fan of his work on Astro City and Avengers and was interested in seeing his take on vampires. And let me set this straight, I’m tired of vampires just like everyone else. The series returns to the roots of the Dracula legend, re-examining Vlad the Impaler in a similar fashion as Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, but putting a modern twist on the story.

“Dracula's a character who's always fascinated me,” says series creator Kurt Busiek, “and getting a chance to build something firmly rooted in Dracula's real-world (and Stoker-novel) history, but with a very modern edge, is the kind of creative challenge I love. It's the world's greatest vampire against the corporate world -- and there's no easy way to tell who's the real villain, and who's the hero.”

The first issue starts slow, pulling you into the story through flashback depicting various parts of Vlad the Impaler’s legend and through the main character, Evan, who’s been gathering and translating ancient Romanian documents. Barrington Industries have found the body of Vlad the Impaler and using ancient sorcery to resurrect and control Dracula. And of course, the one thing they’ve underestimated is Vlad himself.

The Last Zombie #1
Antarctic Press
Written by Brian Keene
Art by Joe Wight

“It's been two years since the apocalypse. The zombie plague has (mostly) died down, but the world that remains is still a very dangerous place. Dr. Ian Scott continues to brave it all as he travels from Colorado to West Virginia with two vital goals: deliver a potential zombie vaccine and find the woman he loves, if she isn't dead-or undead.”

“The Last Zombie will look beyond the zombie apocalypse and ask the question, ‘What happens after the dead die…again?’ It’s a story about the living,” says writer Brian Keene in his foreword to issue #1. The Last Zombie isn’t about the outbreak of a zombie plague, it’s the story of the aftermath, and how the military and society try to put the pieces back together.

It’s an ambitious project, and it’s hard to accurately judge it from just one issue. Being a Keene fan, I’m willing to give this series a few issues as this first issue didn’t really grab me. The art is nothing spectacular, but seems to be better than most Indy zombie comics. One minor annoyance was the lettering which proved to be rather distracting (for some reason the letterer refused to use the vertical line on any occurrence of the letter ‘e’.

--Jason Shayer